"One and done" is simply not in the Sherman Lady Bearcats’ vocabulary — at least, not with this current class of seniors.

"One and done" is simply not in the Sherman Lady Bearcats’ vocabulary — at least, not with this current class of seniors.


Not only is the bi-district round of the Class 4A Region II basketball playoffs becoming a familiar location for Sherman’s undersized girls, it’s also been a very successful place for them over the previous three years.


In the Lady Cats’ current run of top-two district finishes that began in 2010-11, they are 3-0 in the opening round. They’ll be looking to extend that to 4-0 this evening against Longview Pine Tree at 6 p.m. at Emory Rains High School.


"That’s just a part of something that was established before me," Sherman second-year head coach Beth Tallant said. "The girls understand what it takes to win, and they get a lot of credit. They’ve put in a lot of hard work."


The Lady Cats (16-11) are District 13-4A runners-up for the second straight year behind state-ranked McKinney North. Last year at Wills Point, Sherman rolled past Sulphur Springs, 63-44.


Also in the bi-district round in recent years, the Lady Cats beat Hallsville two years ago at Rains, 53-48, and defeated Tyler John Tyler in 2011, 59-54, both times as a No. 1 seed.


Sherman’s group of seniors, most notably four-year starters Sa’Liesha Hunter and Jayzhia Softly, have been a big part of the resurgence in the basketball program. Hunter is headed to Southeastern Oklahoma State to play hoops, while Softly will play for Texas Woman’s University next year.


"The girls know what to expect," Tallant said. "They’re used to competing against these types of athletes. They know the expectations, and we’ve set ourselves up in a good part of the bracket. I like our chances; we’ve just got to execute."


The Lady Cats are certainly well-positioned to extend their run of postseason success. They ended District 13-4A action on a six-game roll following a Jan. 14 loss to McKinney North to start the second leg of the district schedule.


"We had a very good practice Friday, and we’re feeling good," Tallant said. "We beat Wylie East and Lovejoy in a couple of tough games in the second half of district, and now we’re starting to fire on all cylinders. The girls have a new enthusiasm, and they’re excited."


The Lady Cats will go up tonight against a Pine Tree squad that has had its ups and downs in the regular season. The Lady Pirates (18-12) were 5-5 in District 14-4A play and recently suffered a nine-point road loss to Hallsville, which finished out of the playoff race.


But when the Lady Pirates are on, they’re on. Pine Tree has four role-playing seniors, but is led by a pair of underclassmen, Kabreisha Orange and Sky Holmes. Orange scored 20 points and Holmes, a dominant junior post, added a strong double-double of 19 points and 19 rebounds along with five blocks — a performance common for her all season — in a 49-29 regular-season-ending win against Marshall last Tuesday.


Tallant is concerned about the matchup with her guard-oriented starting five. But then again, she’s been concerned about that all season long.


Brandy Higgs, one of the five Lady Cat seniors, has been called upon to play the post even though she isn’t any taller than most of her teammates. Tallant praised Higgs for her grit.


"Brandy Higgs has stepped up to the challenge," Tallant said. "We have no size, and she’s the strongest girl we have who can ‘D’ up their big girls. Brandy uses her athleticism to cause deflections and turnovers. I have total faith in her."


Of course, the reverse side of the coin is also true, as Sherman’s quickness causes plenty of headaches for opposing teams.


"We can outrun any team in the state," Tallant said. "That’s our strength. But we also have to execute in the halfcourt. We can’t run if they’re sending four safeties down the court as soon as they shoot."